Decided on November 04,2020

Ghulam Mohammad Parray Respondents


Vinod Chatterji Koul, J. - (1.)United India Insurance Company Limited - appellant herein, is aggrieved of and seeks setting-aside of Award dated 17th March 2015, passed by Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (court of Principal District Judge) Baramulla (for short "Tribunal"), on a Claim Petition no.18 titled Gh. Mohammad Parray and another v. Abdul Hameed Shah and others, saddling appellant Insurance Company with liability to indemnify insured and pay compensation of Rs.6.00 Lakh inclusive of interim relief with simple interest @ 6% per annum from the date of institution of claim till final realization to claimants - respondents 1&2 herein, on the grounds mentioned in Appeal on hand.
(2.)Heard and considered.
(3.)According to learned counsel for appellant, learned Tribunal erred in saying that deceased was killed in a road accident caused by offending vehicle bearing Registration no.JK05-3422, when it was being driven by its driver rashly and negligently, as death of deceased caused in firing incident which had taken place at the place of occurrence because of the reason that locals of the area including deceased had gathered on spot to receive bodies of victims who had been got killed in a militant related activity. When the bodies reached to village, people started shouting slogans and pelting stones on police personnel who in self- defence opened fire in which deceased got killed and police authorities had recorded the happening of incident under FIR no.47/2001, and by documentary evidence as well it is established beyond any doubt that accident did not took place by negligence of driver and therefore finding returned by the Tribunal on the issue is not in accordance with evidence. Next submission of learned counsel for appellant is that both driver and owner of offending vehicle did not contest claim petition and absented themselves from the proceedings and there was no occasion for appellant to call for vehicular documents as nobody was available before the Tribunal from whom such documents could have been demanded for verification. And in absence of vehicular documents, the Tribunal should have drawn adverse inference against driver and owner of offending vehicle. After saying this, it is also stated by learned counsel for appellant as is also mentioned in Appeal on hand that even if appellant Insurance Company is held liable to pay award amount, but Tribunal seems to have erred in law and in fact of the case in awarding compensation of Rs.6.00 lakhs in favour of claimants that too with interest @ 9% per annum from the date of institution of claim petition till final realization. It is also contended that it is an admitted fact that deceased was a bachelor and virtually had been not doing any work on regular basis and the Tribunal has taken income of deceased as Rs.45000/- per annum and thereafter deduced Rs.15,000/- therefrom as one third of the said amount, towards the personal expenses of deceased and remaining amount of Rs.30,000/- per annum has been considered by the Tribunal towards the loss of dependency for respondents 1&2 for working out compensation by applying a multiplier of 18 against the age of deceased and after working out compensation against aforesaid multiplicand of Rs.30,000/- by applying multiplier of 18 thereto, the amount worked out at Rs.5,40,000/-, to which a further amount of Rs.20,000 on account of funeral charges, Rs.5,000/- as medical expenses, Rs. 20,000/- towards love and affection and Rs.5000/- for attendant, thereby making total amount of compensation at Rs.6.00 Lakhs. The compensation seems to have been worked out by the Tribunal erroneously on higher side. Firstly, there was no evidence available with the Tribunal to fix the income of deceased at Rs.45,000/- per annum, which is only notional and on higher side as deceased has not been doing any regular work. Secondly, the Tribunal has erred in law in making a deduction of one third from the said amount towards personal expenses of deceased when, under established law, deduction should have been 50% towards his personal expenses as he was bachelor at the time of his death. Multiplier adopted by the Tribunal is also on higher side as it has been wrongly adopted by Tribunal against the age of claimants 1&2, being parents of deceased, and only dependents of deceased. The Tribunal is also stated to have erred in awarding 9% interest on award amount instead of 6% as adopted by the Supreme Court as also by this Court.

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